Arsenal restarted their Premier League campaign against Manchester City on Wednesday night. Here are five things we learned from the 3-0 loss.
The Premier League returned and nothing changed. Controversy. Mistakes. Misery. The continual downwards spiral of Arsenal football club resumed on Wednesday night as Mikel Arteta watched his side be dismantled by a magnificent Manchester City, the unquestioned aim of his seemingly unruly and impossible project. Thanks to two David Luiz howlers, the Gunners conceded twice before and after half-time and went down to ten men. That ended the match as a spectacle before a late Phil Foden strike put the customary ‘3-0 to City scoreline’ up in lights.
Here are five things we learned from the disastrous 3-0 defeat.
5. Champions League not done yet
Prior to the season’s resumption, Arsenal had vague hopes of a return to Europe. Of course, sitting in ninth position and knowing that they had to leapfrog several teams to get there, they recognised it was both unlikely and hugely difficult, but their European prospects were not entirely unfounded.
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This was their game in hand. With a win, they could have moved to within two points of Manchester United in fifth place, the final Champions League qualification place should City’s European ban be upheld. A loss, then, seems disastrous to their Champions League hopes.
To some extent, that is true. But Arsenal still sit within striking distance of the top five. They have to play Wolves and Spurs and will leap above both with wins against the pair. Sheffield United also only drew with Aston Villa and have not extended the gap to fifth place as a result. It may sound a little foolish to say in aftermath of such a dire performance, but Arsenal’s Champions League’s hopes are done just yet.